Dr. Joey Mehlhorn, Gilbert Parker Chair of Excellence and professor of agricultural economics at the University of Tennessee at Martin, will become interim dean of graduate programs effective July 1, according to a March 14 announcement from Dr. Philip Acree Cavalier, university provost.
“Dr. Mehlhorn is very highly respected by colleagues in all five colleges,” said Cavalier. “Everyone I’ve ever talked to about him has said he is a wonderful mentor and teacher, so he’s got all the pieces I would want to see in a dean.”
The UT Martin Office of Graduate Studies coordinates with the graduate programs in each of the university’s five academic colleges to help recruit and retain master’s-level students in UT Martin’s various graduate programs. Cavalier says this dedicated position will also focus on building existing programs and expanding offerings into new areas, depending on need and interest. The university currently offers master’s degree programs in agriculture and natural resources; business administration; education; family and consumer sciences; and strategic communication.
Mehlhorn began working with UT Martin in 2003 as an associate professor and has since also served as both assistant director and director of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences; chair of the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources; interim chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences; and director of the Center of Excellence in Experiential Learning in the Agricultural Sciences. He attained the rank of full professor in 2008.
Mehlhorn holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness economics from Tennessee Technological University, and both master’s and doctoral degrees in agricultural economics from Mississippi State University. He will retain his position as Gilbert Parker Chair of Excellence in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences and continue to teach a course each semester.
Dr. Vicki Seng, who has led the Office of Graduate Studies since 2000 in conjunction with her role as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, will become associate provost. She will continue to oversee curriculum and assessment functions for the university.
Cavalier anticipates beginning a national search for a permanent dean of graduate studies in 2020. For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of Academic Affairs at 731-881-7010.